Peter Ellis Org : Seeking Justice for Peter Ellis
The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

Books         Ç return to index
- Authors

Parkin, Alan J                                                  Memory and Amnesia, 1997

Pendergrast, Mark                                           Victims of Memory, 1995

Piper; August, Jr                                              Hoax and Reality, 1997

Poole, Debra A;  Lamb, Michael E               Investigative Interviews of Children, 1998

Pope, Harrison                                                 Psychology Astray, 1997

Prager, Jeffrey                                                 Presenting the Past, 1998



Parkin, Alan J
Memory and Amnesia, 1997
An introduction, Second edition


Pendergrast, Mark
Victims of Memory, 1995
Sex abuse accusations and shattered lives


An honest account of a father's loss and his plea for reconciliation, this book is also a definitive scholarly work on recovered memory therapy and is widely hailed by professional psychologists.

The publisher , November 17, 1997

Review Excerpts of VICTIMS OF MEMORY

VICTIMS OF MEMORY: SEX ABUSE ACCUSATIONS AND SHATTERED LIVES Hinesburg, VT: Upper Access Books, 1996, second edition by Mark Pendergrast

* An even-handed treatment that presents all the different positions with empathy. --Psychological Reports

* Anyone touched by the subject of repressed memories would do well to read this book. -- Burton Einspruch, M.D., Journal of the American Medical Association

* An impressive display of scholarship. Pendergrast demonstrates a laudable ability to lay out all sides of the argument. --Daniel L. Schacter, Scientific American

* Victims of Memory constitutes the most ambitious and comprehensive, as well as the most emotionally committed, of all the studies before us. Pendergrast devotes the most effort to analyzing the contemporary Zeitgeist in which the recovery movement thrives. --Frederick Crews, The New York Review of Books

From Booklist, January 1, 1995
They're staples on talk shows--adult incest survivors who have only recently recovered memories of being abused. Until lately, it was politically correct to believe the abused, never the accused. Then parents and others who felt themselves unjustly accused banded together to form the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. What is going on here? Pendergrast has written a well-researched and important book, and his findings should rightfully scare all of us. Pendergrast, it must be said, is not an objective reporter: his own daughters have accused him of abuse. His shock at their allegations sparked a personal crisis, leading to the writing of this book. Despite his conflict of interest, Pendergrast tries for evenhandedness, going so far as to offer in-their-own-words chapters by those with repressed memories and the therapists who treat them. But there is also a chapter from the "retractors," women who have realized that their memories of abuse were only products of their own imaginations.

Pendergrast's account of this controversial subject is wide ranging. He covers everything from the nature of memory and hypnosis to such related forms of sexual hysteria as the Salem witch trials to this country's growing cult of victimization. He also chronicles how abuse memories often lead to memories of ritual satanic abuse. His strongest and most effective assaults are reserved for the book The Courage to Heal, the bible of the repressed-memory movement, which informs readers that if you feel you've been abused, even if you don't remember the abuse, you probably have. Pendergrast takes readers into an Alice-in-Wonderland world in which innocent incidents, such as the back rubs he gave his daughters, become starting points for "remembered" abuse. He details how therapists, using The Courage to Heal, lead their patients into "memories" and encourage them to abandon their families without giving parents any chance to refute the accusations. (Patients often find new "families" in survivor support groups.) Pendergrast makes a strong case that what began as a way to empower women has now victimized them, isolating them from friends, families, and their true memories. This book is sure to spark a long-overdue debate, and it deserves to be on library shelves, right beside The Courage to Heal. Ilene Cooper  Copyright© 1995, American Library Association

Taking on the issue of "repressed memories" in incest cases, the author speaks from painful experience and questions whether therapists are revealing actual happenings through hypnosis, guided imagery, dream analysis, and suggestion--or shattering lives with false accusations. Original. IP.

Midwest Book Review
Thousands of families have been shattered by therapies which encourage adults to remember childhood sexual abuse patterns repressed over time: but has the therapeutic approach gone too far and instead victimized adult women further? This title's sure to prove controversial in many circles: it tackles issues of healing, therapy, and memory reconstruction.


Pope, Harrison
Psychology Astray, 1997
Fallacies in Studies of 'Repressed Memory' and Childhood Trauma


Stuart Sutherland, Nature, July 17, 1997
Harrison Pope's Psychology Astray is a "model of clear thinking and clear exposition. It outlines the pitfalls of epidemiology such as confounding causes: post hoc does not mean propter hoc-two correlated events may have a common cause, such as genetic factors.

To clarify his argument, he analyzes widely held but mistaken popular and medical myths: for example, that salt is bad for you, that power lines damage the body, and that schizophrenia is caused by bad upbringing. Pope's careful analysis of possible sources of error should be useful to intending epidemiologists, and regrettably some practising ones, and to other disciplines within the social sciences

Book Description
Can individuals "repress" the memory of traumatic childhood experiences? Does childhood sexual abuse cause victims to develop psychiatric disorders years later in adulthood? Dr. Harrison Pope examines the evidence for these two hypotheses, and takes a rigorous and incisive look at the studies available. His conclusions are startling-there is presently no satisfactory evidence that people can actually "repress" memories, nor is there adequate evidence that childhood sexual abuse causes adult psychiatric disorders. The fact remains that the "evidence" cited in many of these studies can be more readily explained by more mundane processes, such as early childhood amnesia, ordinary forgetfulness, or elective non-disclosure.

Psychology Astray is written for students and scholars in the fields of psychology, mental health, medical research and law. The flaws in existing studies are exposed and illustrated, using simple and colorful analogies from ordinary life which everyone can understand.


Prager, Jeffrey
Presenting the Past, 1998
Psychoanalysis and Sociology of misremembering


At the core of Presenting the Past is the dramatic and troubling case of a woman who during the course of her analysis began to recall scenes of her own childhood sexual abuse. Later the patient came to believe that the trauma she remembered as a physical violation might have been an emotional violation and that she might have composed a memory out of present and past relationships. But what was accurate and true? And what evidence could be persuasive and valuable? Could the analyst trust either her convictions or his own? Using this case and others, Prager explores the nature of memory and its relation to the interpersonal, therapeutic, and cultural worlds in which remembering occurs. Synthesizing research from social science, psychoanalysis, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, Prager uses clinical examples to argue more generally that our memories are never simple records of events, but are constantly evolving constructions, affected by contemporary culture as well as by our own private lives. He demonstrates the need that sociology has for the insights of psychoanalysis, and the need that psychoanalysis has for the insights of sociology.

The publisher, Harvard University Press , September 3, 1998
 “In this compelling book, Jeffrey Prager has created a sociology of memory, showing how memory is situated in interpersonal contexts, and draws from cultural tropes. At the same time, he challenges the social sciences to open their epistemological and methodological doors to case studies of individuals and to recognize that subjectivity is personally created rather than socially or culturally determined. Psychoanalysis, he documents, takes us well beyond the experientially and interpretively thin sociological subject.” —Nancy J. Chodorow, Member and Faculty, San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

“No debate has become more vexed in recent decades than that about human memory, and no one has brought more intelligence, balance, and gentleness to that debate than Jeffrey Prager. He gives us a brilliant clinical interpretation of a patient who successively ‘doesn’t remember,’ ‘remembers,’ and ‘unremembers’ childhood sexual ‘experiences’ and then brings alive vast, additional ranges of psychological and social evidence about memory. How often is a book so scholarly also so compelling that one can’t put it down? Almost never, but that is what happened to me.” —Neil Smelser, Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

“This talented writer brings together insights from sociology and psychoanalysis to give new meaning to the malleability of human memory. His readers will take away a deep appreciation for this fundamental truth: memory cannot be set apart from the personal, temporal, and cultural context in which it occurs.”—Elizabeth Loftus, Professor of Psychology, University of Washington and President, American Psychological Society